The Brain Sees Skill as a Pattern
The brain sees skill as a pattern: a series of skills that have been repeated enough times so that they happen without thought. At this point, the skill moves to long-term memory to free up more short-term memory.
When you perform this skill enough times in long-term memory with other skills, you develop a pattern. This allows your brain to anticipate ahead of what you are doing, which is how you perform without thinking.
So, practice is about repetition, not thinking. When you are thinking, you are using short-term memory.
We see shooters all the time trying to think their way through the shot. They never seem to get it. They will never have a great performance because their practice is about hitting birds and fixing the shot at the end or adjusting the lead.
How many times did you break the target perfectly according to your plan?